The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Susan Harris

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Susan Harris until we are able to commission a full entry.

Photo of Rabbi Susan Harris, courtesy of Rabbi Harris.

As hospital chaplain, Rabbi Susan Harris has worked to make Boston Children’s Hospital more sensitive to the needs of LGBTQ patients and families. Harris graduated from Brandeis in 1978 and was ordained by Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in 1984. While in rabbinical school, she joined the Jewish feminist community B’not Esh, a group she credits with helping her grow and develop as a rabbi. In 1984 she began doing interfaith and social action work for the Union of Reform Judaism, and from 1987–1988 she served as interim rabbi for Temple Emanuel in Lowell, Massachusetts. She then returned to Boston, working with Am Tikvah, an LGBTQ congregation, and helping found the Jewish Community Day School in 1995. Harris was one of the architects of the school’s pluralistic approach: JCDS is a bilingual school serving secular and religious Israeli and American families. She was also a founding board member of the Jewish Women’s Archive, and continues her work at the intersection of Judaism and gender on the board of the Brandeis–Hadassah Institute. In 2001, Harris became a chaplain at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she works with patients, serves on the Ethics Advisory Committee, and educates staff on the treatment of LGBTQ patients and families.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Susan Harris." (Viewed on July 31, 2021) <https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/harris-susan>.

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